Open Air Fire Bylaw

Draft Open Air Fire By-Law 

Inviting Public Comment

The Town of Lincoln is updating the Open Air Fire By-Law. A Public Consultation session occurred earlier in the year, and based on that feedback, a draft By-Law has been created for further comment.

The Town of Lincoln is requesting public comment on the draft Open Air Fire By-Law by Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. Comments can be provided via:

  1. Email
  2. Call a Fire Prevention staff at 905-563-2799 ext. 298

Draft Open Air Fire By-Law - full document 

Summary of Changes

Permit Types

  • The former “Recreational” and “Non-Recreational” permits were replaced with “Urban” and “Rural” to better address the specific issues associated with each respective area.
  • A new “Specific Event Fire Permit” was introduced to facilitate campfires by community groups (e.g. Scouts) for a specific occasion or series of occasions.

Sensitive Receptor Registry

  • A concern identified during the public consultation process was that some residents have medical conditions or environmental sensitivities that are aggravated by smoke and odours from open air fires. 
  • The establishment of a “Sensitive Receptor Registry” allows the fire department to maintain a confidential database of locations where exposure to smoke may pose a particular risk to the health of an individual or group (e.g. schools, seniors’ facilities, etc.)
  • Residents wishing to be placed on the registry would submit a letter from their physician or a notarized statement attesting to a medical need to have their address placed on the Sensitive Receptor Registry.
  • Open Air Permits would not be issued, nor open air burning allowed, with 75 metres of a location on the Sensitive Receptor Registry.

Flying Lanterns

  • “Flying lanterns” are a fire safety concern because these open flame devices have an uncontrollable and unpredictable flight path when released, and can land on trees and building rooftops while still ignited.  The by-law would prohibit these devices in Lincoln.


  • The public consultation process revealed that enforcement of the open air fire by-law was a concern.  The by-law clearly sets out that the Town’s by-law enforcement officers are authorized to enforce the open air fire by-law, and are able to issue an Order to Extinguish the fire.

False, Frivolous and Vexatious Complaints

  • The by-law would allow for a fine and a cost recovery mechanism for repeated responses to false, frivolous or vexatious open air burning complaints.

Liability and Recovery of Costs

  • At the advice of the Town’s solicitor, the language pertaining to the recovery of costs for responding to and/or extinguishing an unlawful open air fire was updated.
  • Language was added to clarify that the by-law is not intended to limit or interfere with individuals’ rights to bring a civil action against any party who has caused damages by an open air fire.


  • An appeal mechanism was introduced to allow individuals who have been assessed fees or charges under the open air fire by-law to appeal those fees or charges.

Set Fine Schedule

  • The schedule of set fines was updated and amended to reflect the gravity of each offence under the open air fire by-law.  The revised schedule of set fines would require approval of the Ministry of the Attorney General.
4800 South Service Road
Beamsville, Ontario
L0R 1B1

TEL: 905-563-8205
FAX: 905-563-6566
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